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So what are you waiting for?!
The Gorilla Hut
The Gorilla Hut? That was not the first question. We were just looking for
work, and decided to follow a lead provided by Peter’s and Julia’s cousin, a
guy who had been there for three months a year before us. We exchanged a couple
of texts with this Damon person and he said he had arranged with an orchard for
us to do some apple picking. The only thing we knew is that we had to take the “Tamahere”
exit in between Cambridge and Hamilton. Still there we went!
at that time of the day when the sun casts no shadows. The backpackers sign
meant nothing to the junkyard where a collection of what seemed abandoned vans
and cars rested, lifeless, at sight. We got off our vehicle and a black
labrador greeted us and started walking towards a shed. Being that it seemed
the only reception we were meant to receive I followed him and we went through
a door hidden in between two vans. There was a hallway, and to the right a
precarious bathroom with a shower and two toilets. And suddenly I was inside.
The what question arose at that very moment. For the several “extirpated” car
seats arranged in a semicircular fashion around a small wooden table put imagination
at task, but not more than the eight hundred stuffed monkeys hanging from the
roof and clinging to the walls. There was also a bar, guitars, a drumkit, lots
of DVD’s, a pool table and a table tennis table, bicycles, boots, a bow, a
fridge, lots of empty beer bottles, and lots of interesting things just laying
here or there. Behind me, above the door frame, the wall was painted and an
inscription said: “The Gorilla Hut.”
some chattering behind a plastic courtain. English accent. I went through it
and there were two guys dressed in cakis and workboots: “Damon’s not home right
now, but he knew you’ll be arriving any moment. So he should be back soon. Just
get yourself comfortable mate.” And so we waited, but not for long because a
couple of minutes later we heard a car parking outside.
in his forties, walked towards us with a smile in his face and a big hand to be
shaken. He showed us around and then took us through a field where a cow grazed
peacefully and some piglets were feeding. We arrived then to the farm house. It
was the place where everyone gathered to have dinner, a meal that Damon cared
to cook every day, and also where we chose to sleep.
reflected the spirit of The Gorilla Hut. One could say it was messy, or even dirty,
or that the owner had no respect whatsoever for order. It was what hell would
look like for your mother. But I prefer the word chaotic. Chaos is what humans
try to seize, try to control, it is also what we fear. We love to impose an
order into a world we believe to be ours. We build monstrous cities where we
feel protected and things make sense, we put names on things, we believe that
there is a place and a purpose for everything.
you arrive in The Gorilla Hut, you feel something quite different. And you get
a reminder that sometimes is better to “Let the chips fall where they may.”
Sometimes you have to abandon yourself to the situation and enjoy the ride.
picking work was not good. They paid $32 per bin and in one day you were lucky
to fill two of those. The heat was overwhelming because of the drought. And
last but not least, in apple picking it’s more difficult to talk to some
co-worker since you take care of a row of trees and are constantly climbing up
and down the ladder searching for the god forbidden fruits.
But nonetheless we chose
to stay, because we had the chance to be in one amazing place.
Submitted by: Germán Distel Date submitted: 26/05/2013 11:28:02 p.m.